Work That Gelato. Work It!

After a very long day of arriving in Florence recently – three flights from Norway, a train from Bologna to our destination, and a final hike to our hotel – Kristil and I arrived feeling tired, grimy and in dire dire need of refreshment. We found it a short block away in the form of that most Italian of Italian frozen treats: gelato.

I went with a couple of classics – strawberry and lemon – and K. went with a new-school blood orange and grapefruit melange. After taking our order, however, the gelato guy didn’t just scoop the stuff into waiting cups. Instead, one by one, he scooped the right amount of each flavour to the side of the tray, then worked the gelato with the back of a spatula-shaped spoon until he was satisfied he had crushed its molecules into silky, pure-pleasure giving alignment. I had never seen this step before, but there’s no question that it makes all the difference. When the vivid flavour of frozen water and fruit is worked into the texture of a Titian masterpiece, well, let’s just say that in all the galleries and cathedrals we hit in the days that followed, I knew what the angels were really singing about.


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